From Psycho to Sparky, and the Ginger Pele to Braveheart - the best nicknames in football
15 January 2009 05:58
'These gamma rays are a nightmare': Adriano gets used to life as The Hulk.
'Wazza' and 'JT'? Boring. Chopper and Braveheart? Now you're talking.
Here is Sportsmail's guide to some of our favourite football monikers. Let us know which ones you think should be included on the list.
'Hello Dave': Jason McAteer spots his mate Rodney in the crowd.
1. Adriano - 'Hulk'Adriano Leite Ribeiro was nicknamed 'Hulk' by the Italian media owing to his intimidating size. FC Porto striker Givanildo Vieira de Souza is similarly named because he is built like a brick wall and his square jaw is so pronounced it must have right angles. He is even named as 'Hulk' on the team-sheet.
2. Fitz Hall - 'One Size'Inspired.
3. Jason McAteer - 'Trigger'The former Blackburn and Liverpool man wasn't the brightest man in football, to put it kindly. He once asked to have a pizza cut into four rather than eight pieces because he wasn't that hungry and gained the nickname 'Trigger' after the well-meaning, but hopelessly adrift character from 'Only Fools and Horses'.
4. Stuart Pearce - 'Psycho'He wore his heart on his sleeve, was never afraid of making a tough tackle and screamed like a psychopath (justifiably) when he netted that penalty against Spain in Euro '96. His demeanour on the pitch was so at adds with Pearce's rather squeaky way of speaking, making 'Psycho' all the more appropriate.
Stuart Pearce: So that's why he's called Psycho.
5. Dennis Bergkamp - 'The Non-Flying Dutchman'One of the Premier League's finest foreign imports hailed from Holland and refused to fly in aeroplanes. Two plus two and all that.
Gary Doherty: Ginger, yes. Pele, no.
6. Mark Hughes - 'Sparky'Hughes' nickname followed him from his time with Wrexham Schoolboys through to the end of his career with Blackburn Rovers. But when he became a manager the moniker suddenly disappeared. Maybe it's not appropriate for Robinho to tap on the boss's door and ask to speak to 'Mr Sparky'. We think Hughes should be known by his real name, anyway - it's Leslie.
7. Gary Doherty - Ginger PeleThe former Tottenham man had red hair but was certainly not in the mould of a certain Brazilian footballer. Maybe if you squinted a bit? No - Spurs fans were indulging in a spot of irony with this one.
8. Emlyn Hughes - Crazy HorseTough tackling, galloping runs and a larger than life personality earned former England and Liverpool captain Hughes the affectionate nickname 'Crazy Horse'.
9. Gennaro Gattuso - BraveheartRangers fans gave the Italian the nickname 'Braveheart' during his stint at the club from 1997-98, presumably not because he looked like Mel Gibson. Fans back in Italy have since called him 'The Growler'.
Gennaro Gattuso: 'They may take away our shirts, but they'll never take our freedom'
10. Aaron Lennon - RoadrunnerLennon's Tottenham team-mates called him 'Roadrunner' because the 21-year-old is so quick. He competed against Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor in an advert last year and was quicker than the Villa striker with the ball at his feet.Best of the rest.
Paul Ince - 'The Guv'nor'Ole Gunner Solskjaer - 'Baby-faced Assassin'Ron Harris - 'Chopper'Ashley Cole - 'Cashley' Alex - 'The Tank'Oleg Luzhny - 'The Horse'Fernando Torres - 'El Niño'